Monthly Archives: March 2020

Advancement Guidance Available


The Patriots’ Path Council advancement page contains the links to the Boy Scouts of America’s guidance on rank advancement during COVID-19 page, which is the official, temporary policies for advancement page provided by the BSA.

This Q&A covers everything from Cub Scouts and tracking advancement remotely, to the temporary procedures for Eagle Scout extensions. Additionally, the BSA has provided supplemental information on best videoconferencing practices and resources.

In spite of the challenges we are all facing, Scouting can be a great outlet for us during this difficult time. Let’s encourage families to work on rank advancement and other activities at home and for our units to meet remotely via online or conference call methods so that we can maintain our positive momentum.

Membership Presentations to be Recorded

The Patriots’ Path Council Membership Committee will be recording the presentations that were intended for the membership breakfasts.

These presentations will help units be prepared for recruiting as soon as normal activities resume and get you ready for successful fall recruitment.

Topics will include: unit membership plans (packs and troops); recruiting resources and best practices; Lions recruiting (for packs); and Webelos/AOL recruiting (for troops).

An announcement will be sent to unit leaders when the presentations are available online.

Flintlocks Repair Dan Beard Treehouse

The Flintlocks repaired the Dan Beard Treehouse at Camp Somers in Mt. Allamuchy Scout Reservation over the winter. The Flintlocks are retired Scouters who volunteer every Thursday at Camp Winnebago. All it took was some lumber, some screws and some elbow grease.

Since the Flintlocks are all volunteers with outstanding construction skills, it saves the council from hiring outside contractors to do the repairs. A small group go up to Mt. Allamuchy on Wednesday to work. This group includes Al Thomas, Frank Wallace, Chris Kennett and Harold Bork. Most of the men had fathers who helped the pack or troop when they were in the Scouts as lads; now they have sons and grandchildren who were or are in the Scouts.

Please visit the Facebook page “Flintlocks” to see more activities. For information contact Flintlocks Secretary Michael Hart at [email protected].

The Dan Beard Treehouse at Mt. Allamuchy Scout Reservation was repaired over the winter by the Flintlocks.

Two members of the Flintlocks work on the treehouse.

The Flintlocks are skilled craftsmen who donate their time expertise to Patriots’ Path Council.








P.R.A.Y. Offers Eligibility Extension

Recognizing that church and Scout meetings have been suspended, Programs of Religious Activities with Youth (P.R.A.Y.) has adopted the following policy to ensure that young people do not miss the opportunity to earn their P.R.A.Y. emblem while maintaining eligibility for the Four-Star Award:

At the request of clergy and counselors, a special eligibility extension is in effect until Dec. 31, 2020. This means that students who are eligible for a program based on their current grade level in March 2020, will still be eligible to earn that award until the end of this calendar year, Dec. 31, 2020. Instead of aging out of a program in the fall when starting a new grade at school, the P.R.A.Y. extension will allow young people to complete their requirements until Dec. 31, 2020.

As families have lengthened time at home, keep in mind that the P.R.A.Y. awards are perfect opportunities to study together and make faith formation a priority, especially during this season of Lent.

While the convenience of a church or scouting class provides a set schedule and instruction, the P.R.A.Y. awards are perfect to be done at home with the family. During this unsettling time, it may be an unexpected opportunity for parents to share their faith with their children and grow in faith together. Reading and discussing Scripture to complete requirements will create natural space for spontaneous dialogue and ways to connect with  children. Make your family’s faith journey a priority!

Check out these Quick Start Steps or visit Facebook, @praypub for more information.

“Making Room” is a brand-new patch that P.R.A.Y. was waiting to announce at Christmas time. It seems appropriate to announce it now as a reminder to be intentional about “making room” for others and for God even as we are socially distancing ourselves during this pandemic.

Story  No. 1: No Room in the Inn

Make room in your heart for Jesus.

Story No. 2: Mary and Martha

Make room in your day to listen and spend time with God.

Story  No. 3: A Room for Elisha

Make room in your life for missionaries and pastors.

Bible Basics RP3 is a free curriculum available upon request. This patch series is for all ages and intended for individual and family use. Click here to request your free lessons:


Our New Scout Plaza

With the arrival of spring, construction is about begin on the new Scout Plaza at the Patriots’ Path Council Cedar Knolls service center.

The project includes new signage identifying the building proudly facing both Horsehill and Saddle roads, as well as a new flagpole and of course the Mackenzie statue of the ideal Scout.

The plans call for three new trees, which were donated by Grandview Landscape Design, shrubs and drought-resistant flowers along with the paver patio and walkway.

There is still time to buy a customized paver stone and help support Patriots’ Path Council, see below.

To purchase a brick online, click here.  To view the plan, click here.

Flintlocks make 32 new benches for camp

The Flintlocks recently made 32 new benches with pressure-treated lumber for the Council Ring at Allamuchy. The photos show the benches being assembled in the shop (where the magic happens), with Russ Jenkins and Chris Szymczak constructing the benches and carrying them outside. Also seen are Ted Marquardt and Joe Schott making struts. Not pictured is Bob Germinder masterminding the operation. The Flintlocks volunteer every Thursday at Camp Winnebago. Their shop is the first building on the right. Guests are always welcome.

Flintlocks make Pinewood Derby cars for Scout Reach and Special Needs Kids

The Flintlocks obtained a grant and then purchased, cut and sanded Pinewood Derby cars, and donated them directly to schools with special-needs children. This is a good example of how the Flintlocks work with the council to provide outstanding services to the community.

A $500 grant was obtained from the Westfield Service League last summer. The Flintlocks purchased 240 Pinewood Derby car kits and are processing them.  ScoutReach children and special-needs children cannot use power tools, so the Flintlocks cut the cars into shapes, sand them and repackage them. The children paint and decorate the cars, and the teachers put the wheels on. The council provides the Pinewood Derby track. This event is the highlight of the year for the children in these schools, and is usually done at the end of the school year as a special event. The cars are donated to ScoutReach through the council, and cars also are donated directly to three schools with specials-needs children: The West Lake School in Scotch Plains, the Crossroads School in Westfield and the Developmental Learning Center in New Providence.

The Flintlocks are a separate 501c3, but work closely with the Patriot’s Path Council, Boy Scouts of America. They are 27 retired Scouters who meet at Camp Winnebago every Thursday to help maintain the camps, build new structures, volunteer with council programs, and make craft kits in the shop. They are in the first building on the right, and guests are always welcome. For information, contact secretary Dr. D. Michael Hart at [email protected].

Peter Aviary, Chris Szymczak and Russ Jenkins unpacking the Pinewood Derby cars.

Peter Aviary cutting the shapes.

Dr. D. Michael Hart sanding the cars.

Jim Pipala repacking them.